"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

"Trust in Nigeria's Future"

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Statements by PM Netanyahu and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan -

It's my pleasure to welcome here, in Israel, in the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, the President of Nigeria, Mr.Goodluck Jonathan.

I think that this is a meeting long overdue and much welcomed. We’ve had excellent relations between our countries. They’re improving even as we speak, over the past few years.

But this is the visit of a president of Nigeria in Israel and I’m sure it won't be the last. It's something that'll give us an opportunity to strengthen our ties even more. I look forward to doing that in every field: in trade, in investment, in tourism, there are thousands of pilgrims from Nigeria that visit Israel, we'd welcome many more and we’d like Israelis to go to Nigeria. Many are going, as business people who are increasingly interested in the investment possibilities of Nigeria.

we're a partnership of peoples and a partnership of interests. The key interest is fighting terrorism. I know, Mr. President, that you've been plagued by this scourge. I want you to know that Israel has been on the frontlines of fighting terrorism for many years. We’ve done so successfully and we stand ready to help all responsible nations to fight terrorism. you're a responsible leader of a friendly nation, a responsible nation. We stand with you in your great effort to stamp out terrorism. I can say that the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world is Iran. This same Iran is now on a quest to preserve its program to achieve nuclear weapons. I just heard Iranian officials that the talks, the most recent round of talks were useful and constructive. Well, I’m sure for Iran it’s useful and constructive, because they just win time in order to continue their enrichment program to create fissile material for nuclear weapons.

I think the talks will be useful and constructive when the pressure on Iran will get them to cease and desist their nuclear program, to stop enrichment, to stop their heavy water plutonium reactor, both of these are used only for nuclear weapons. They’re not needed for civilian nuclear energy. This is our goal, to see a peaceful settlement of Iran without nuclear weapons. Iran must be without nuclear weapons. This is something that we're committed to and we stand by this goal. This is important for us Mr. President. I believe it’s important for Nigeria, I believe it’s important for Africa. The countries of the Middle East. For the world. Iran with nuclear weapons will threaten all of us. Will threaten the peace of the world. So we're committed to preventing that. Equally we're committed to strengthen our relations in every field possible. I'm very happy to welcome you and your delegation here in Jerusalem. I look forward to our conversations and I value our friendship. So welcome to Jerusalem, Mr. President.

President Jonathan:

Thank you.
Thank you, your Excellency. The Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, let me commend you and your government for what you’ve been doing for the world generally. Specifically, I came to your beautiful city for religious reasons. Since we came in myself and my delegation, have very warm welcome from our brothers and sisters from this great country of Israel. And we're quite pleased with that. Thank you very sincerely. And just like you said, Nigeria and the State of Israel have very warm relationship, even though at the top level there’s a limited number of visits, which I believe, by coming here this time will open that door for us also to soon receive you in Nigeria.

I was in 2007, December 2007, when I was a few months old as the Vice President of my country. But since I assumed office, I've not been able to come. I said that I must try and come to the State of Israel before the next round of elections coming up in 2015. So we're here primarily for that. We feel that let us use this unique opportunity to have this little bilateral talk to further strengthen the ties between Nigeria and the State of Israel.
you've been helpful to us in quite a number of ways, we appreciate your level of technology in terms of agriculture and construction, ICT, intelligence and other areas that you’ve been quite useful to us and we believe that we need to even strengthen more.

But let me commend you and I appreciate you in one achievement. We got it this late afternoon, signing of the bilateral air service agreement. that's been on the drawing board and a number of Nigerians come to Israel. In fact last year about 30,000 came on pilgrimage. Outside that, the number of regular visitors which are also significant, because Nigeria is one country that people are very very mobile. But all along, before we come to the State of Israel, we've to pass through thirdparty countries. I passed through Egypt, I passed through London. I passed through Turkey, other places. But at least with what's happened today, our next set of bilateral talks we’ll be able to fly directly to the State of Israel. And it'll also help because we've over 50 Israeli companies and with various responsibilities in Nigeria doing very well in civil engineering, in power sector. Of course, ICT, defenseand so on. And I believe these people also want to move directly from Tel Aviv to Abuja. Vice versa. So I've to commend you and we're all pleased. Nigerians are happy with you.

You mentioned the issues of security globally. It’s quite worrisome. Today it’s like the world is divided into some people who want society to live in crisis. Also those who want society to live peacefully. Nigeria belongs to these countries. I believe that the world must be a peaceful world. I'll continue to work with you, another wellmeaning nations and individuals. I’m sure that we'll live in a peaceful world.

We also believe that nuclear power now should be used for economic purposes of medicine and agriculture. Not for the purpose of destroying human life. And that's been our belief whenever we go for the programs and discussions on the nuclear that's been the position of Nigeria. So we're continuing to work with the rest of the world to see that we all live in peace.

For us and Israel, we've so many areas that we think we can work together, areas of power, areas of agriculture, water resources management, that you're experts. You’ve been able to conquer your environment and we appreciate that technology and we believe that you help us tremendously in also conquering our own environment, though slightly a different environment. But we've a number of Israelis working in Nigeria that quite conversant with our environment, quite aware what our investment opportunities. Before this time, mostly areas of our economy were controlled by the Federal Government. Issues of power were almost exclusively controlled by the Federal Government. Even the sub-national government states had no power to generate power for commercial purposes except for relative occasional project.

Not to our ports either airports or sea ports. Our road infrastructure, our railways, all this was monopolized by the Federal Government. But we're opening up all these areas for private-sector. We believe that government only creates the environment while the private-sector drives the economy. So the country has opened up for investment and we've very vibrant business men and women from the State of Israel. So I believe my coming today will further open opportunities for our business men and women to interact for the purpose of our own economic growth.

So once again, on behalf of my delegation, I thank you for this warm reception. I believe that this is the beginning of even stronger relations between Nigeria and the State of Israel.  SOURCE:

Nigerian students in Malaysia cry for justice, write open letter

Nigerian Students studying in Malaysia have written an open letter to President Jonathan seeking his intervention in what they described as the continued injustice meted on them by the Malaysian police authorities. The students under the aegis, National Association of Nigerian Students Asia, in their letter which was signed by the President of the association, Prince David O.C Nwaogwugwu, cataloged cases of undue police harassment faced by some Nigerian students and also accused the Nigerian Consulate staff in Malaysian of being non-nonchalant towards the harassment and victimization they have faced in recent times. Continue…
Nwaogwugwu said;
“Nigerians are now constantly being duped of their tuition fees and falsely accused of crimes not committed by the institutions they study in, their apartments being regularly raided even without warrants, blackmailed and set up for the purpose of extortion, falsified evidence accepted by judges against them in courts which are presented by the police and prosecutors, deported by the immigration authorities for the failure of the institutions of learning and the same immigration departments who fail to quickly process the renewal of Visa for these Nigerian students who have handed in their passports for weeks, months and even years.
“There are several cases where police officers in connivance with school security personnel’s, local and foreign agents and lawyers go after students who they believe have financial backing at home. They blackmail such students and threaten to put them in trouble if they do not pay certain amounts of money. Some of the students who refuse to be oppressed by such threats are then arrested, taken to court and false evidence presented against them. In the courts, the prosecutors do not allow the students to speak in protest or self defense. The proceedings in Malaysia courts against Nigerian students are carried out in the Malaysia language of which Nigerians schooling in Malaysia are not mandated by any law to study Malay and therefore do not understand what the prosecutors are telling the judge or what the judge is saying to the court” he said.
Some of the cases involving Nigerian students includes
Among the cases listed by Nwaogwugwu was that of Nkem Okpa, a research student who was detained for 11 days on mere suspicions three years ago.
There were other cases:
1. Gabriel (2010): Arrested on the street and thrown into a bus with some people who had been arrested for drug possession. He had never met the other people arrested with him before. Gabriel was in Sungai Buloh Prisons until 2013 when the culprit pleaded guilty. Gabriel’s entire life has been ruined for nothing.
2. Oyewole (2013): Student arrested for not being in possession of his passport which had been submitted to his school for visa renewal. The Police went ahead to carry away cloths and electronics in his apartment.
3. Segun (2013): House mate to Oyewole. They were arrested together and their possessions stolen by the police.
4. Adeniji (2013): A student arrested and deported while his passport had been submitted to school for renewal.
5. Victor (2013) Student arrested on the school campus for being in possession of drugs he knew nothing about. His house mate confirmed he was set up. In court, the police presented false evidence against Victor. Victor refusing to be blackmailed by the schools security and the police inspector in charge of the case spent about 3 months in remand until his parents told him to plead guilty and be done with it. The High commission was informed but nothing was done about it.6. Bartholomew (2013): Arrested for a crime he knew nothing about. Evidence and witnesses prove his innocence but he is still locked up in Jail and the Nigerian High Commission is saying nothing.-Body Number : 313….
7. Umar Garkida (2013): Arrested from his hostel, false evidence of drugs presented in court against him. He has refused to be intimidated to plead guilty and has been in jail since November while the High commission and his school are silent.
8. Fahat Sanda (2013): Arrested from his hostel, false evidence of drugs presented in court against him. He has refused intimidation, refused to plead guilty to a crime not committed and so has been in jail since November. The school and High commission are silent.
9. Umar (2014): Arrested from in front of his hostel by the police. Asked for his passport which he had submitted to the school for renewal of Visa, he stated his case and presented his ID as the Student Rep President alongside his student ID, but the police insisted on arresting him unless he paid some bribe. Umar called Mr Banum the head of the school security to come and identify him as the Student Rep President, but he never came. The police officer then arrested Umar and took him to the station and threatened to put him in trouble. Umar then succumbed to the threat and paid Rm300 to regain his freedom on the spot. On returning to the school premises, Umar confronted Mr Banum to know why he refused coming to identify him but there was no response. He then requested that the money he paid be refunded of which Mr Banum said he will refund him and write a petition against the officer in question. Till date, nothing has been heard about the issue.
10.. Several Nigerian students in February 2014 were arrested within their school premises by the police and immigration personnel’s for not being in possession of their documents which had been submitted to the school and hence immigration for renewal. The School ignored these students for about 2weeks to suffer in detention and the High Commission did nothing.
Nwaogwugwu also listed in the letter death cases involving Nigerians
1. Onoche Martins (March 2012): Master degree student. Killed by Malaysian Police personnel’s after he allegedly outraged the modesty of a 43year old lady by hugging, kissing and exposing himself by 11am. These accusations do not make sense to any sane being. Nothing has been heard from the Nigerian High Commission.
2. Solomon Okolo (March 2013): Student from Delta state. Killed by Malaysian citizens in the presence of Malaysian police officers after crashing his vehicle. His wife was at the scene of the incident and to date, nothing has been heard about that case or the culprits. The High commission is silent.
3. Tunde Adelabu (March 2014): A Student Killed by Malaysia policemen who ran away after shooting him. Later on, the policemen came back and arrested Tunde’s friend who had witnessed the shooting. Today, nobody knows where this boy has been taken to or if he is still alive. The school he attended are now denying he was ever their student. The High commission is still silent.
4. In India on the 25th of March 2014, Two Nigerians were found stabbed on Devli Road, New Delhi. One of them succumbed to injuries and died while the other is at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.
5. In Malaysia, a Nigerian died in detention camp sometime in March. The Nigerian High Commission was invited for the burial or which they attended without contacting the family of this Nigerian. The family of this Nigerian back home believes their son is alive somewhere. The High Commission should give reasons for their action
The students are asking that Mr President intervene in the matter.

Policeman beaten & tied up by mob after allegedly shooting driver: In Kwara..

This incident happened this afternoon along Patigi Road in Kwara State. According to eye-witnesses, the policeman tied above and a few of his colleagues stopped a driver delivering telecoms equipment to a site at Patigi and allegedly demanded for money. When the driver refused to part with money, an argument ensued and he was shot in the arm. (You will find the graphic pic after the cut). After the shooting, a mob descended on the policemen but were only able to catch one as the others ran away.

The one caught was beaten and tied up by a mob. See more pics after the cut...

The driver that was shot.

Lupita shares baby pic day after she's named People Most Beautiful

The young shall grow.. Proud of her.. It`s her World..

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nigeria: (Ogbunike Caves, Anambra State)

Nigeria is blessed with outstanding cultural, natural and significant heritage sites, which are listed among the UNESCO Heritage Sites. These sites exist nowhere else in the world and have become a great interest to visitors and Nigerians. We combed through the list of the World Heritage Sites and discovered that two cultural sites in Nigeria were approved to be on the list while others are on the tentative list, which may be considered for nomination.
However, we present to you the list of Nigerian heritage sites,  which are on both the tentative and World UNESCO Heritage sites’ lists.  These sites have natural and extreme beauty with historical significance that will inspire every one; therefore, we recommend you visit them straight-away.

1. Sukur Cultural Landscape, Adamawa State

This is one of the magnificent destinations that is better visited than seen on travel magazines or imagined, populated by a rich avifauna, rare species and located on top of the highest plains on the Mandara Mountains in a place called Madageli, Adamawa state. This is Nigeria’s first landmark to be inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The landscape features a palace, ritual featured terraced fields decorated with dry stones and granites, which make the village setting so natural and exceptional.
Sukur Cultural Landscape

2. Osun-Osogbo Scared Grove, Osun State

This sacred forest is situated along the banks of the Oshun River, on the outskirts of the capital city of Osogbo, which is regarded as the home of the goddess of fertility – Osun. There are shrines, art works, sculptures and sanctuaries that dot the river in honour of the goddess and other local deities. It is considered as the last of the Yoruba’s sacred forests that is still standing. In 2005, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its yearly festival brings thousands of spectators, tourists and Osun worshippers from around the world.
Osun-Osogbo Grove

3. Oban Hills, Cross River State

Oban Hills is a range of hills located within Cross Rive National Park and it shares a border with the Korup National Park of Cameroon, established in 1988 as a part of the Cross River National park and is a natural habitat for wildlife and plants of unknown species. This is one of few sites where the Xavier’s Green Bull can be found and unusual species such as the Cassin’s Hawk eagle, Bat Hawk, Crested Guinea fowl, Lyre-tailed Honey guide and it houses over 400 Chimpanzees.
Kwa falls

4. Oke-Idanre Hill,Ondo State

Idanre Hills consists of spectacular valleys with a high plain and the valleys are interspersed with magnificent inselberlgs that is about 3,000 feet above the sea level. It was listed in 2007 on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. There are attributes such as the old court, Owa’s Palace, Agbooogun foot print, shrines, burial grounds and mounds and the Omi Aopara which is the thunder water. It is a tourist attraction center that brings thousands of visitors all through the year.
Idanre Hills

5. Ogbunike Caves, Anambra State

This is one of the wonders of the Eastern Nigeria and discovered by a hunter called Ukwa. It is associated with spiritual and historical significance and listed in 2007 on the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The caves can be descended in a 317 steps, yearly; Ime Ogbe festival is celebrated in the commemoration of the discovery of these caves.
HITACHI Photo Source: logbaby

6. Alok Ikom Monoliths, Cross River State

Alok Ikom Monoliths has over 300 carved stones that are upright with heights that varies and grouped in circles, each facing one another. The texts and images inscribed on the monoliths still cannot be decoded, but it’s believed to be writings from the prehistoric civilization. The site is known as Akwasnski/ Atal among the people of Ejagham. The feature that is common with these monoliths is they were designed in the form of a Phallus. In 2008, it was added to the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Alok Ikom Monoliths Photo Source: Junglejournalist

7. Ancient Kano City Walls, Kano State

It was once regarded as West African’s most impressive monument, a 14km radius earth monument that is associated with the state’s historical, cultural and spiritual significance. In 2007, it’s listed on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ tentative list. It features the Emir’s Palace, Kurmi Market and the famous Dala Hills, believed to be the first settlement in ancient city of Kano. The wall is an intriguing fact of Nigerian architects who had designed this wall to define defence, political space, management and security system.
kano city wall Photo Source: ExperienceCrossRiver

8. Gashaka-Gumpti National Park, Taraba State

This park is the country’s most diverse and largest National Park that is situated with the Mountain of Death, Chappal Wadi and Mountain of Wind, Chappal Hendu.  There are lots of traditional lore that have served to protest West African’s huge number of primates and houses giant forest hogs, chimpanzees, leopard, lion, hippopotamus, yellow-backed duiker ,hartebeest and buffalo and birds.
Gashaka-Gumpti National Park, Taraba State  Photo Source: logbaby

9. Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Rute, Abia State

This is the home of the shrine of Ibin Ukpabi with a domineering cult statute of Kamalu-‘The Ancient Warrior god’ still standing. It contains an alter, a water fall and there is a six foot gully that leads people to this cave temple. There are lots of myths about this area which was listed in 2007 on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is a famous feature the Iyi-Eke which was an outlet for slaves to be transported to Calabar.

10. Surame Cultural Landscape, Sokoto State

Surame is an ancient city in Sokoto State, created in the 16th Century by Muhammadu Kanta Sarkin Kebbi and abandoned in the `1700. It is regarded as one of the world’s wonders of the human civilization, ingenuity and creativity. Its wall is made of massive stones and has a Palace of the Hidi; the chief of the village. It was declared an ancient Nigeria’s National Monument in 1964 and added in the Cultural and Natural category of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2007.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

President Jonathan Applauds General Buhari’s Patriotic Call For National Unity Against Terrorism


President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan commends General Muhammadu Buhari for his very statesman-like views on terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria as expressed in his article which was published by the media over the past two days.

General Muhammadu Buhari commenting on the recent killings in Nyanya motor park in Abuja and published by Vanguard on Wednesday said that  those who committed this act have declared war on all that is decent and good. They have declared war not against the state or even the government. They have declared war on Nigeria and all Nigerians because this murder took men and women, old and young, Christian and Muslim alike. President Jonathan’s statement was made known in statement, Wednesday, by Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)

President Jonathan in the statement said he believes that the position taken by General Buhari is that of a true patriot, respected former Head of State, revered elder statesman and nationalist.
The President welcomes General Buhari’s call on all Nigerians to remain steadfast and work in unity to overcome terrorists and other merchants of death who currently threaten national security.
President Jonathan fully shares General Buhari’s view that a minority must never be allowed to “bring the nation to its knees through terror”.He has noted General Buhari’s recommendation that the nation’s counter-terrorism strategies be further fine-tuned and welcomes his kind offer of support and co-operation in dealing with the challenge of terrorism.

The President assures General Buhari of his Administration’s sincere commitment and dedication to the successful prosecution of the fight against terrorism and all other threats to national security.
He further assures the General of his preparedness to work with him and all other patriotic Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations, to strengthen national security and end the scourge of terrorism.
General Muhammadu Buhari in his statement said We cannot allow these merchants of death to make us numb to the tragedy they manufacture. Those who were killed were not merely numbers on a page. They were human beings, made of flesh and blood body and soul like all the rest of us.
They were someone’s father or mother, brother or sister. They had parents; they were someone’s child. They were husbands or wives, neighboring friends and colleague.

They had dreams and hopes. They were loved and loved others in return. Now, life has been taken away and those who cared from them must bear a grief no person should be asked to carry.”
And that those who committed this act have declared war on all that is decent and good. They have declared war not against the state or even the government. They have declared war on Nigeria and all Nigerians because this murder took men and women, old and young, Christian and Muslim alike.
From vanguardngr

Fulani herdsmen confess to membership of Boko Haram


It has emerged that groups of alleged herdsmen or gangs operating in the middle belt states of Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and even those that recently killed scores of people in Zamfara state, are Boko Haram sect members.

This development came to light following the confessions of some arrested Fulani herdsmen that took part in the killings and burning of houses in Wukari, Taraba state, they  disclosed to  security forces that they took  part in many Boko Haram attacks.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade confirmed the development saying “A group of terrorists operating under the guise of herdsmen from a camp in the outskirt of Wukari have been arrested, while others died after an attack on military check point at Gindin Dorowa, a suburb of Wukari in Taraba State”.

“Other members of the group were sighted in the course of air surveillance and later trailed to their camp where they engaged the troops in a battle”.

“The terrorists were clad in the usual pattern of dress of their counterparts operating in Borno and Yobe States”.

“One of the apprehended armed men confessed that he had been fighting for the terrorist group in Borno State and was recently brought to Wukari area in furtherance of their mission”.

“Assorted arms and ammunition were recovered from them”.

“Meanwhile, the curfew imposed on Wukari and its environs is expected to be relaxed as normalcy returns to the town”.

“Troops have maintained patrol of the area while a house-to-house search for arms is ongoing”.

“In another development, troops on patrol of the Lake Chad Islands have made some arrests”.

“Among those arrested was a boat operator who ferries terrorists across the Lake Chad while another confessed to being a supplier of hard drugs to the terrorist groups in the area”.

“In the meantime, the search for the abducted students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok is also being intensified”. SOURCE

400 foreign students scammed in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Some 400 foreign students are crying foul over a college scam that saw them lose RM8mil on a non-existent diploma programme.
The students had paid RM20,000 each in tuition fees but later found out that the college did not offer such programmes.
Student Faheem Khan, 24, said he came from India for a diploma course in cruise management at a local college as he was promised a high salary and job placement after the programme.

International undergrads cry foul over non-existent diploma programme.
“Instead of going to classes, we were sent to work at a five-star hotel for about 12 to 16 hours a day under the pretext of doing an internship,” he told a press conference organised by Tenaganita, here, yesterday.
Faheem said he filed a refund claim at the Consumer Tribunal and won the case but the private college appealed to the High Court.
“On Nov 19, the High Court upheld the decision but I am still afraid that the college might appeal again,” he said, adding that a police report against the college has been made.
Nepalese national Rojinna Risal, 22, quit her job at her home country as she thought that it was a reputable international college.


“The recruitment officer told us that we were guaranteed internship places at recognised cruise companies with salaries starting from RM4,838 to RM8,063.
“But they forced us to work at hotels instead.
“Our visas will expire soon and I am afraid that the college will get away with our money,” she said.
Tenaganita executive director Dr Irene Fernandez urged the authorities to seal the operations of the private college because it is still recruiting students from all over the world.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said the ministry would investigate the allegations against the institution, reports KANG SOON CHEN.
“We do not condone such practices.
“Action will be taken against the college if the allegations are true,” he said, adding that the ministry viewed the issue seriously because it could tarnish the image of the country as an international education hub.

Gunmen kill 50 in fresh attack in Taraba

Unknown gunmen yesterday struck residents of Gidan Aku community on the outskirts Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State killing no fewer than 50 people with many seriously injured.
According to reports, the men who stormed the area with sophisticated weapons allegedly came in from Nassarawa state and attacked the residents while they were sleeping. They set the whole place on fire forcing residents to flee into nearby bushes for safety.
An eyewitness and also a lawyer in the community, Luka Agbu said no security officer came to their rescue during the attack
"The attackers were very hostile to us and did not spare even children or the aged. The attackers shot at people and burnt houses at the same time without any intervention by the security forces. We are helpless here and we plead with the Federal Government to deploy special troops to rescue us from this unfortunate and deadly attacks. Our people are being killed by gunmen, we are losing property on a daily basis. What kind of a country is this?” Agbu said
Meanwhile the state Governor, Umar Garba while interacting with journalist yesterday in his office in Taraba State said he has ordered 50 more policemen to the troubled zone to help the residents.

“We have deployed 50 soldiers from Yola to add to the troops on the ground who were deployed from Serti and Takum and with a reasonable number of policemen on the ground, we hope the situation would improve" he said

He also ordered the reopening of the General Hospital in the Local Government which was before now shut down due to the Dusk to Dawn curfew imposed in the area. He also announced that the 24hr curfew has been relaxed and would start by 12noon- 6pm

I’m Ready To Expose Sponsors Of Boko Haram – Adamawa Clairvoyant

The spiritualist expressed sympathy for President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the president is a good man and those that are targeting his administration will fail woefully.
He said having been disturbed by the bloodletting and seemingly inexorable hostilities by the group, he deemed it fit to come forward, and warned that if those behind Boko Haram fail to change their ways, he will soon expose them.
Goni added that among those sponsoring Boko Haram activities are top politicians and traditional rulers  with the sole aim of causing confusion in the country.
He said he was aware of the various nocturnal meetings held by the sect before launching attacks but was not able to curtail their attacks as he had not been permitted to do so.
“My vision always tells me whenever the Boko Haram are about to launch attacks but I was always incapacitated to stop them because I was not given express permission by the authorities to do so; but through my intervention, the intensity of the attacks is minimal”, he said.
Goni said though the present administration is facing security challenges, the president will weather the storm because he means well for the country.
He condemned the recent bombing in Abuja and urged government to take more security measures like mounting of CCTV cameras.
He called for the probe of the Chinese company handling the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja, adding that the contract should be revoked and handed over to a more competent company.
Goni also called for more attention to agriculture as a major source of employment opportunity and the need for local government autonomy to fast track grassroots empowerment.
“Government should also look at ways of giving employment to civilian JTF in the armed forces, police and other para military organizations so that they can continue to actively contribute their quota in protecting their father land”,  Goni said. SOURCE

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

D'banj visits Nyanya blast victims: Photo

D'banj visited Nyanya blast victims today April 22nd, where he reportedly donated several gift items to the victims and settled some hospital bills.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the entertainer visited the victims at the Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja in company of the FCT Health Secretary, Dr Ademola Onakomaiya.

During his visit, D'banj said the government alone cannot do all that is required for peace to reign in the country.
"I am a Nigerian and I am affected by any tragedy that befalls us and particularly in the spirit of Easter, I came to show the victims support. I have seen that the survivors are responding positively to treatment and thanked the medical team here for the efforts.
"We are appealing to the perpetrators of these acts to have a rethink and support the peace initiative so that our people would not be subjected to such wickedness,” he said.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Comedians earn far more than actors in Nigeria — Okey Bakassi

Okechukwu Mac-Anthony known in the entertainment world as Okey Bakassi has been around in the make-believe world for over two decades. As an accomplished actor and stand-up comedian, Okey’s rich profile earned him appointment as  Senior Special Assistant on Entertainment Affairs to the erstwhile Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State. He speaks with Richard Udofia on variety of issues, including his purported letter to God on the problems of Nigeria. Excerpts:

As the former Senior Special Assistant to the  administration in Imo State on Entertainment Matters, will you love to serve if given an opportunity under the incumbent government?
The answer to this is dependent on my predisposition, and I don’t put such response in the public domain. But honestly speaking, I do embrace every opportunity to serve the people, but when the philosophy, ideology and beliefs of any administration  are  not in consonance with mine, I find it difficult to function. As for this administration in my state, I want to state it categorically that I will not want to serve in any capacity because we do not have the same philosophy and ideology.

You were quoted as saying that, being a comedian pays more than an actor in the movie industry in Nigeria. How?
An A- list stand-up comedian today in Nigeria earns more than an actor in the movie industry, that’s a fact. Forget about the glamour, the pictures or mansions you see, I speak as an authority.

Aside the entertainment industry, that is, comedy and acting, which area would you love to give a try?
I would rather love to stay in my area of strength, and maximize it. As a graduate of Agricultural engineering, I can function in sectors like agriculture, engineering, among others. In life, it is needful to always give your best to that which you see as being your area of strength and develop on it.

You love being addressed as a comedian rather than an ex-politician. Why?
I love being addressed as an entertainer, because as either a comedian or an actor, you entertain people and make them forget their problems. Entertainment industry is where I derive my joy from, and I won’t trade it for anything.

Sometime ago, you were alleged to have written a letter to God. What prompted you to do it?
Long before our so-called bigwigs began to write open-letters, I had written mine to God. I woke up one day and I started reminiscing on the fate of Nigeria, looking at all the corruption practices, wanton killings, high rate of inflation, political scheaming among others, and I said to myself, if I am given an opportunity to see God face to face, some of the questions I would love him  to  answers, and for me to get the items right, I needed to put them in black and white; that prompted me to write that letter that went viral.

Although if you go through the items I wrote, they were mostly national issues and not personal.  We live in a country where nobody is safe, street urchins are there daily, unemployment is having a multiplier effect on the economy, corruption is glorified, insecurity is sky-rocketing, insensitivity of government to the cries of the ordinary man are ignored. There and many more issues prompted me to write that letter.

I want to correct the notion that I meant death for myself, rather, it was only logical for me to put down things I would have loved God to correct in our country. Or have you forgotten that comedians are very logical, sensitive and clinical in delivery of content?

Recently, Nollywood celebrated her twentieth anniversary. How do you assess the industry?
Honestly speaking, we tend not to know the value of what we have until we lose it. Nollywood has done a lot for this country, in terms of branding, packaging and delivery to the outside world. In my candid view, Nollywood is rated second or third in the world in the  entertainment industry. I have met a lot of foreigners who were thrilled about our cultures and opportunities.

Also, it has created more job opportunities for thousands of Nigerians.  Nollywood is striving to overtake Hollywood. Have you asked yourself how Hollywood was when it celebrated its twentieth anniversary? With time and hardwork, Nollywood will grow to be a force to reckon with in the world.

What can you say Nigeria needs in order to claim the ‘Giant of Africa’ status?
Nigeria is suffering from leadership problem; and until we get it right, we won’t get anywhere. Corruption is the bane of Nigeria;  and if we have leaders who are ready to serve, then our fortunes can be turned around.

Parting words
My wife is the key to my success in this industry, aside God. She is indeed a friend who did give me time to nurture my dream and craft to the best of my ability. Many people don’t know that I am twenty years in this industry. Although I did serve in government in Imo State, and also engage in other chains of businesses, people do think I am a rich man,  in this industry, I don’t know of riches but one thing I know is that, I am a happy man.